Thumb drive: 1989 Peugeot 405 MI-16

It’s kind of sad that the French are only represented in the U.S. car market via Nissan.  Unfortunately it has been over a quarter century since the last French car was sold on U.S. soil.  Here’s the last new model French car that marked the end of the line for French cars in America.  Not a bad way to go…  Find this 1989 Peugeot 405 MI-16 for sale in Seattle, WA for $2,499 (because $2,500 was a dollar too much) via craigslist.

I don’t get this whole obscure the license plate thing when advertising on List-o-the-Craig.  What is to stop me from meeting he seller, test driving the car and then taking a picture of it that includes the license plate and then creating a fake ad with the obscured plate?  Anyway, I’m rat hole-ing off topic.  The Peugeot 405 was the last Peugeot sold in the U.S., and the MI-16 is the top of the line version.  This particular car has had many new parts professionally replaced.  I’m not sure what sort of selling point that is, but there you go.  I do know that the top of the line MI-16 was powered by a 1.9 liter 16 valve inline 4 capable of 150 hp which doesn’t sound like much today, but 25 years ago it was impressive.  The design looked remarkably similar to the Alfa Romeo 164 as Pininfarina was responsible for both designs, with the 164 debuting slightly earlier than the 405.  Some say that Farina sold the design twice.  Underneath there was no connection between the 405 and the 164.

According to the ad, “this model was a Rally (sic) winning machine”.  Here’s the winner of the 1989 Paris-Dakar Rally.  Not sure there is a lot of commonality except for the shape (somewhat).

thanks, wikimedia

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.